|From the Pastors Desk|
|Tabernacle||Christ... The End of the Law||Lesson #2|
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
|June 3 2001||Bible Lessons
In the last lesson, we started to examine the God-given "picture" of Himself, His eternal plan and the Believer's walk in holiness. That God-given "picture" is the Tabernacle in the wilderness and its service.
It is hard to read the Bible without seeing either direct references to, or applications from the Tabernacle, its service or the heavenly pattern from which it was designed. Many Biblical references written before God gave the plans for the tabernacle, become clear and understandable when seen in the "shadow" of the Tabernacle and its service.
Much of the doctrinal teaching of the New Testament uses the Tabernacle and its service as its foundation or as examples. A great deal of the symbolism in the Book of Revelation and other prophecies finds its source in the Tabernacle.
Christ said that He did not come to destroy the Law, BUT to fulfill it. That statement tells us a great deal about Christ's ministry, the order and purpose of the Law, as well as bringing into focus MANY other Biblical subjects.
Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I (Christ) came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Let's spend a little time with this statement by Christ. This short statement contains the purpose of the Law (which is a vital part of the Tabernacle), AND gives us insight into why Christ came to this earth through the incarnation.
Not only is this passage the kernel form of the purpose for the Tabernacle and Christ's coming, it also has implications regarding our redemption and Christian life. As we spend a little time with this statement by Christ, I think it will show the importance and place of the Law and the Tabernacle, as well as many other aspects of Biblical revelation.
We need to see the meanings of a few of the words used by Christ to express this declaration. Notice first the absence of something. Christ's coming was not to bring about the keeping or fulfilling of the Law by mankind. NEITHER is it implied here, or anywhere in the Scripture, that we should go contrary to or discredit the Law. It is needful to keep those two facts in balance.
This verse tells us that there is ONE thing that Christ did not come to do, AND there is ONE thing that Christ did come to do.
Christ DID NOT come to destroy the Law. The purpose of Christ's coming was not to render the Law vain, or deprive the Law of its success or even take it's power or force. It is important that we understand this fact!!!
If we fail to keep in mind WHY Christ did not come, then when we find in Scripture that the Law is called the ministration of condemnation, etc., we will be tempted to think that the Law was or is of little value, or its giving was a mistake by God, AND Christ came to correct that mistake.
Nothing could be further from the truth!!! I'm sure the Holy Spirit, knowing the tendency of the human mind to judge the actions of God by our own actions, established WHY Christ DID NOT come before stating why He DID come.
Please, keep in the back of your mind the definition for "destroy". Humans make laws, some of which are very good. On the other hand, we make laws that are not so good, or at least not to our liking.
When a "not so good" law comes into being in the political realm, the attempt is made to disintegrate that law, or to attempt to show that it is not compatible with itself or the rest of our constitution. Thereby, the political structure tries to show that the law has no power. By so doing, they deprive that law of its potency. In that condition, the law is useless or sometimes declared unconstitutional. As we will see from other passages, it was this type of action of which Christ was accused by the religious leaders of His day.
Even in this Hebrews' passage, we must make sure that our conclusions are in harmony with
We can't tarry in this Hebrews' passage, but notice the same theme is
mentioned here, as in Matt 5:17. However, we take
When we hear the term "annulment", our minds often turn to a marriage that was canceled or made null and void. However, there is another means of canceling a contract or annulling it.
Far more often than by default, a contract is canceled because the obligation was fulfilled or satisfied. This is true of the annulling of the Law by Christ. Christ fulfilled the Law. He did not destroy it or default on keeping its conditions.
This emphasis is something we know, but often let slip from our conscious thinking when reading about the Law. The Law was a contract, not just a grouping of individual commandments. This fact is brought out in many passages, such as
It is very important to remember this fact, and allow its truth to be a factor in our understanding of the Law, the Tabernacle and its service. The Law is referred to as the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, etc.
The term covenant, testament, etc. all have reference to a contract of some nature, and they must be fulfilled, completed or paid off by the contracting parties., OR suffer the consequences of defaulting on the contract.
In the case of the Law and the Tabernacle, this contract was made by God with Israel, to be fulfilled by the Messiah or the one sent by God through the descendants of Abraham. Without taking time to establish the fact, the Law or the Mosaic Covenant is part of, or a sub-contract within the Abrahamic Covenant.
We will see the relationship of these contracts and others later in this series. For now, it is vitally important that you keep in mind that the Law, the Tabernacle and its service are all part of a contract or covenant. As with any contract, all of its conditions must be met or the consequences for default will be carried out.
We must see who the contracting parties are, and who is responsible for what conditions within this contract. In this study of the Tabernacle, we will see the importance of the truth found in 2 Pet 1:19 stating that no one passage or prophecy can be understood on its own merit ALONE. Each passage or prophecy MUST be in harmony with all other passages within the entire Prophetic Word.
I have put a line through part of verse 19. I didn't do so because the information crossed out is of little or no importance, but because the information is parenthetical.
It is as though when Peter mentioned the "prophetic word", he could not resist declaring what a Believer should do with that wonderful revelation. Never is the information in the Bible given just to inform us, BUT instead, it is given so that we willheed its instructions and obey its truths.
However, to see the flow of the passage,
we need to move from "more sure" in
With that in mind, let's temporarily put aside the crossed out portion, so we can see the flow of information concerning the Prophetic Word given by the Holy Spirit through Peter. Then, if we apply the truths taught here to our study of the Tabernacle or any Scripture, it will prevent us from following a path of interpretation not intended by the Holy Spirit.
To properly understand what Peter is saying in
Notice what Peter was attempting to establish in the minds of the recipients of his letter. Peter said, "Look I'm getting old. I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel." That may not have been his exact words, BUT that was the gist of what he was saying, translated into modern vernacular.
Peter knew he is about to leave this earthly life, and would not be able to personally speak the truths of Christ to these converts. During his lifetime, he was not"negligent" to keep on reminding them of the truths of Christ. His listeners could be assured that what he was telling them about Christ was true, because he had seen these thing with his own eyes, AND had heard the voice of God the Father with his own ears. As long as Peter was alive, he would keep on reminding them of these true facts. They could trust what he said BECAUSE he was an eye and ear witness.
Peter wrote this second epistle so they would continue to have a reminder of these things after he died, or as stated here "after my decease". There are many other truths in this passage, but what we need to see from this context is that the things that Peter told them, and was writing to them could be trusted because he was an EYE witness, and had personally HEARD God the Father's voice on the mount of transfiguration and other times.
With that thought-flow, we come to
"We ALSO have the prophetic word made more sure....." (more sure than even being an eye witness)
Peter turned his attention from his eyewitness account to the prophetic word they already had -- the Old Testament. What Peter presented was SURE because he saw and heard what he reported. Being an eye and ear witness makes the facts about as sure as they can get.
Peter says that they could have confidence in his teaching. PLUS or "also", they had something else in which they could have perfect confidence!! That something else is "the sure word of Prophecy".
Their confidence in what Peter said was made sure because he saw and heard the facts that he passed along. In like manner, their confidence in the prophetic word could be made even more sure because of two things.
I'll not take the time to Biblically show all the details, but this fact
of the prophetic word being sure has to do with the confidence of the reader in the facts, more than it has to do with the
reality of the facts. We can see
Peter reminds his readers that there were some in their group who had come with "cunningly devised fables", and that had weaken their confidence level. Peter is showing them that they could have "confidence" in what he tells them, BECAUSE what he is telling them, he saw and heard. It was not something he had "devised".
Please look carefully again at the passage and the definition of the Greek word for private.
Peter says that they (and we) can trust what he says and writes. Eyewitness accounts can and should bring confidence. HOWEVER, there are two things we can do with the facts of the Word of God that will bring even more confidence than knowing that an eyewitness gave those facts!!! It is ever so important that we see these two things in this context. It will make all the difference in the world in our study and understanding of the Tabernacle., and all the rest of Scripture.
One of the things we can do with the facts of the Word of God that will bring more confidence, is found in the parenthetical phrase we skipped over. We should take the facts of the Word of God and obey them, or as the passages says "heed" them. Once we have obeyed the facts and have experienced the results of that obedience, we will have more confidence in those facts.
Positive personal experience builds confidence.
However, Peter goes on to say that there is a greater evidence than personal experience that brings even more confidence. Therefore, the phrase "made more sure". Let's see what it is that makes this prophetic word more sure than even an eyewitness account.
In the first part of verse 20, we have the phrase "knowing this first".
The most important factor in establishing confidence in the prophetic word is the fact that no one portion of that prophetic word can stand alone or be understood by itself. Any single portion must be understood in the light of the whole.
The entire prophetic word was authored by the Holy Spirit, and written down as He directed holy men to do so. None of the information in the totality of the prophetic word came by means of the will of any human, even though the Holy Spirit used many men to pen it pages.
Therefore, the more a person knows of the total prophetic word, the more they will understand each portion of the word. In like manner, the more a person knows of each portion, the greater will be their understanding of the total.
This is a never ending cycle!! Even though we have all the Spiritual information that will be revealed this side of eternity, we will NEVER exhaust the depths of the truths taught by that information, if we allow the Holy Spirit to continue His teaching through comparison, AND if we continue to obey and live by those truths revealed by the Holy Spirit from His Own Word.
This inexhaustible depth of God's revealed plan is so stated in Rom 11, and many other passages.
If you look back just a few verses, you will see that this teaching of Paul was based on a truth taken from the Tabernacle and its service.
The fact of the single authorship of the Bible also means that no matter where in the Bible you study, you will see the same truths. The truths we see from the Tabernacle and it service will NOT be different than the truths we've looked at in our study of Satan vs. the Believer.
However, we will be using a different medium or different Spiritual binoculars to see the same truth. Therefore, we will have the opportunity to both explore the deeper things of God, and we will have other and unique reference points from which we can recall the information we learn.
Let me caution you. Don't become careless or apathetic when we look at a truth we've seen before. That truth will be seen from a different perspective, and it will be richer, deeper and will bring greater Spiritual stamina to your life!
Also, with each comparison of any passage or Biblical truth comes a deeper understanding of God's Person and His eternal plan. When we become careless and apathetic about the precious Word of God, we soon loose even the Spiritual growth we have received.
Let's go back to our passage in....
We have briefly seen that the Law and Tabernacle with it service is a Spiritual contract or covenant. Christ came to consummate the Law in all the many aspects of the Greek definition of the word fulfill.
This God given "picture" of the Tabernacle, and it service beautifully shows us the MANY ways in which Christ became the fulfillment of the Law and all that surrounded it. The "picture" not only shows how Christ fulfilled all the requirements of the Law, BUT how, through Christ, those requirements can be fulfilledin us.
Even though we are not required to live by the ritual of the Law, we are to live by the "requirement" of the Law. We'll see the difference later. No person could live by that "requirement", before the coming of Christ. This inability was not because the Law was faulty, BUT because human flesh is weak. As a matter of fact, humanity is dead to anything Spiritual. Therefore, before Christ, mankind was to daily, yes, they were to constantly look at the "picture" that told how mankind could have the requirement of law fulfilled in them by faith in the Messiah or the Christ.
This "picture" or the Tabernacle that told of the coming fulfillment of God's requirement was NOT simply a "picture" that hung on the wall where its many facets could be observed. This "picture" was such that the people participated in it, by literally walking through the detail of that picture every day, every week, every year, every minute of their lives.
When they got up in the morning until they went to bed at night, they were to be actively engaged in the many aspects of that "picture". This participation, from a pure heart of obedience, was an act of faith in which they declared their Spiritual trust in the coming Messiah, NOT in the "picture".
Therefore, since Messiah has come, and our Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled the requirement of the Law, we, too, are to allow that requirement to be activated in our lives through Christ by faith, NOT through participation in the activities of the "picture".
Now that we have the "Real Thing", it would be wrong, yes, even sin to attempt to exercise our faith in a contract that has been fully completed and no longer valid. Our faith must be in the "Real Thing", the One to Whom the picture pointed. Once we have the "Real Thing", BUT still turn back to the "picture" for our Spiritual living, we have "set aside the grace of God".
Notice once again the theme we saw in
Living by faith does not destroy or make void the Law. That act of faith establishes the Law as a fulfilled contract by the work of Christ.
The Jewish people, in general, did not act according to the knowledge that the "picture" brought them, through the Tabernacle and Law. Therefore, they thought it was through their own righteousness that the Law would be fulfilled.
They, like anyone else, will ignore God's righteousness when striving to establish their own righteousness, which is at best only filthy rags. Don't miss the truth of this fact, by judging them too harshly. You see, we, who have even more information than they, often try, through our own efforts, to establish our righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness that should be living out through us.
|© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2001|